In the latest edition of The Sport Book, the scientific journal of the Australian Institute of Marine Science and Engineering, we are publishing a report which shows that sea turtle populations are not being harmed by the eating of shellfish.
The report’s co-author, Dr Simon Schmaltz, says the findings are encouraging but it is important to remember that we are only just at the beginning of understanding the potential impacts of the eating habits of sea turtles.
Dr Simon is an expert in marine conservation and says that the study is a step forward but we must be mindful of how we interpret it.
“It does point out the potential impact of the consumption of sea turtle products on other marine species, and therefore this is a positive sign,” Dr Schmantz said.
“The paper does note, however, that it is not clear that sea otters and turtles are the most likely to suffer this impact as their diets are not typically eaten as a main meal.”
We are also concerned that these findings may be influenced by the assumption that there are no significant changes to sea turtle habitats due to the consumption by human populations.
“Dr Schlantz is one of a handful of researchers who have recently been studying the impacts of eating sea turtle shellfish on the aquatic environment.
Dr Scholton said the study was conducted at the National University of Singapore and was based on a group of researchers from a variety of different research institutions.
The researchers took a total of 40 samples from 40 sea turtle nests in Singapore and analysed the levels of cecal, fecal and gastric enzymes.
They then compared the levels to levels found in wild populations of sea otter and turtle populations and concluded that the cecum, gastric and gut contents of the turtles were significantly lower in comparison to their wild counterparts.
Dr Richard Tindall from the University of Melbourne said the researchers had found that the turtles that were in captivity were consuming more cecums, but they did not show the same increase in fecal enzymes levels. “
We don’t know whether this is due to some kind of protective effect of the turtle shell on other invertebrates, or whether it’s a consequence of their unique lifestyle,” Dr. Sholton added.
Dr Richard Tindall from the University of Melbourne said the researchers had found that the turtles that were in captivity were consuming more cecums, but they did not show the same increase in fecal enzymes levels.
He said the findings suggest that the turtle’s diet is the major driver of these levels.
“What we’re seeing in this study is not a sea turtle eating more shellfish, it’s actually an increase in their cecomal enzymes levels,” Dr Tindalls research assistant, David Hodge, said.
This study shows that shellfish consumption is a major factor that is changing the ecological environment of sea turtlenecks.
Dr Hodge said that the findings from this study showed that shell food may be the major environmental factor affecting the turtle environment.
“If we could find a way to reduce the environmental impacts of shell food, it would be a significant step forward in understanding the impacts on sea turtles,” Dr Hoeke said.
It is important that we understand what these changes mean to the environment and the turtle, Dr Hodges research assistant Dr Simon said.
Dr Sholten said that while he is optimistic that sea turd consumption is changing, it is too soon to make any definitive conclusions.
“Sea turtles and other species that have been studied over the years have had some significant ecological impacts,” he said.